We had the great pleasure of entertaining Melissa of the Bees in our home before she flew back to Canada. She saw my window-side altar to our household gods and was moved to sing the Orphic Hymn to Aurora (Dawn) in ancient Greek. We recorded her lovely offering and it’s available on her channel where many of her other beautiful songs can be found. See her video on her YouTube channel for her additional notes on the song.
This year many of the holy days are linked to pages online which describe the ancient festivals, some with suggestions for how to celebrate them in the modern world. To read about all of them at once, go to our Temenos site list of festivals. The Temenos site can be edited by any Hellenion member. So if you are a member, you can add how you celebrate the holy days to our collective experience there! Regardless of whether you are a member of Hellenion, your personal experiences are also welcome on Hellenion Chat, which is affectionately called “Hellenion’s Front Porch”.
By using this calendar and the festival resources available at the Temenos, you’ll be celebrating alongside fellow Hellenic Polytheists. We look forward to celebrating with you!
Melissa Gold (right) holding a Canadian flag, her certificate of citizenship, and her copy of Hesiod and Homer.
Melissa Gold, a fellow member of Hellenion (a recognized church of Hellenic Pagans) affirmed her oath of citizenship on her copy of Hesiod and Homer this week – possibly a first in North America.
Hellenion’s Press Release:
“Hellenion is delighted for Melissa Gold, who was recently able to undertake her Canadian citizenship ceremony while holding a volume of Hesiod and Homeric Hymns. We celebrate with her that she was able to mark the moment of being able to participate fully in her country’s democracy while maintaining her Hellenic principles. In these times all of us are regularly reminded how precious the rights of religious freedom and tolerance are, and salute the government of Canada for their on-going commitment to these principles. We hope more countries will soon enact laws to extend religious freedom to all their citizens. All the best to Melissa and her family.”
From Melissa’s interview with Pagan+politics:
PNC: This gets to something that may be a bit controversial in our wider religious community, the idea that Pagans could have a holy book and why we would swear or affirm an oath on one. Which book did you choose and why did you choose that one?
Melissa: I wanted to make a point that Hellenic texts could logically be part of a citizenship ceremony in lieu of touching an altar of Zeus, which was a traditional way to make oaths in antiquity. I had brought a Loeb volume containing the works of Hesiod, the Theogony and the Works and Days, and the Homeric Hymns. Those texts represent some of the earliest writings about Hellenic spiritual practice and mythology, which underlie most of what was done in ancient times along with the epic poems and give us inspiration and direction today.
PNC: Did it give you pause to be choosing a book, knowing you may be setting an example or precedent for Hellenics?
Melissa: Yes and no. While I realized that some people might regard my particular choice as a precedent, I suggest that anyone in a similar position choose whatever is of importance and significance to them. If it helps anyone to have the works of Hesiod and the Homeric Hymns be known as a precedent, that’s great; but polytheism is inclusive and therefore many other choices would be just as good. There is no one right choice as in monotheistic societies. – Full article at The Wild Hunt